Sunday, January 24, 2016

Biden to Attend Peace Talks in Geneva

Vice President Joe Biden will be attending a peace talk in Geneva on Monday to negotiate with Syria, Turkey, and several other countries on how to shut down ISIL. The talk will potentially be delayed past Monday due to the fact that the UN is trying to find an appropriate representative for the Syrian rebels.

Biden said, “We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared ..., if that's not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh” (Al Jazeera). He said that if Syria was not willing to come to a peaceful resolution regarding ISIL, the United States and Turkey will consider mounting a military response.

During Obama’s state of the Union address that we discussed in class, Obama specifically mentions that the United States should not be the world’s peace force. Biden seems like he is potentially going against this sentiment in the peace talks. While he could mean that the United States is interested in giving support to Turkey in the form of money, weapons, and air strikes, it is interesting that troops may be deployed to yet another Middle Eastern country.

I think that the United States should stay out of the ISIL conflict. There are already many countries that ISIL has greatly upset and they will probably feel the impact of that with or without the United States being involved. It is probably more important at this point to protect ourselves domestically from potential attacks from extremists.

What do you think the United States should do to stop ISIL? How far is too far in our ‘policing’ role? Is Biden’s actions and Obama’s words conflicting or is one not being fully truthful?


Elliot Quan said...

I don't think the two statements are conflicting - from the transcript, he said that the US shouldn't be responsible for rebuilding the nations and infrastructure of the Middle East. Additionally, he called for Congress to "authorize the use of military force against ISIL," while making sure to not be the sole force out there fighting ISIL; hence, the international coalitions that have formed and continue to bomb ISIL.

I don't think that we need troops deployed yet, but if the other nations of the world deploy their troops, we will be expected to do so as well. And this time, we will hopefully not be the overwhelmingly dominating force despite our military capacity - I think that's what Obama's trying to get at here. In regards to Biden and Turkey, his remark against Syria was clarified to be specifically against ISIL; I don't believe that he or Obama have the intentions of establishing a new government or deploying troops en masse. Whatever happens, I don't think we're looking at the same level of intervention that happened in Iraq or Afghanistan, although perhaps this may change.

SOTU transcript

Sameer Jain said...

I'm not sure why Joe Biden is worrying about peace talks when President Obama has tasked him with curing cancer.

Jokes aside, I agree with Elliot in that the use military force does not automatically make the US the world’s policeman. My interpretation of that statement in the State of the Union Address was that the US should try to avoid trying to enter too many international conflicts. ISIL is arguably the biggest international conflict right now, and it makes sense for the US to start taking a stronger stance.

Also, I think it is important to note that the US is placing precedence over what the UN is trying to achieve as well. Allowing the UN to try and solve the issue diplomatically before discussing “military solutions” is a step toward reaching the goal of helping other nations while not becoming the world’s policeman. Additionally, by respecting the UN this way, the US prevents itself from getting involved in too many international matters individually. The UN is a means through which the US can influence nations that need help with the support of other stronger nations.